The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered LEX Express Inc. (DBA Lincolnland Express) of Champaign, Ill., and Ben Gordon Enterprises LLC (DBA Gordon's Tree Service) of Slidell, La., to immediately cease all transportation services.

Ben Gordon Enterprises

FMCSA shut down Ben Gordon Enterprises after an investigation found the company had willfully violated a federal out-of-service order, continued to operate vehicles in violation of that order, and continued to operate and direct the operation of its vehicles in willful disregard of critical safety regulations.

After being placed out-of-service, the company continued to use drivers who did not have valid commercial driver's licenses or medical certificates, and had been involved in a crash while using a driver who did not possess a CDL. The company also used two drivers on two separate occasions who had not obtained medical certificates, and who were arrested for driving under the influence and possession of alcohol.

In November, the FMCSA conducted a comprehensive review of company operations and determined that Ben Gordon Enterprises failed to implement an alcohol and controlled substance program, used drivers without CDLs, failed to maintain an accident register and reports and driver qualification files, and failed to keep records of inspections and vehicle maintenance or require drivers to prepare vehicle inspection reports.

Based on the company's disregard for safety regulations, unacceptable level of safety compliance, and continued operations in violation of an out-of-service order, FMCSA found that the company's continued operation of commercial motor vehicles posed an imminent hazard to the public.

LEX Express, Inc.

On Oct. 22, FMCSA issued a proposed Unsatisfactory safety rating against LEX Express after conducting a compliance review that found numerous violations of federal safety regulations, including false reporting of records of duty status, use of commercial motor vehicles that were not periodically inspected and failure to properly maintain vehicle parts and accessories.

LEX Express was informed in the Agency's Oct. 22 notice that the company would be prohibited from operating its fleet of 30 passenger vehicles and 34 drivers on Dec. 7 unless FMCSA approved a corrective action plan to ensure safety compliance.

LEX Express submitted a 600-page proposed safety management plan on Friday, Nov. 30, five business days before the effective date of the Unsatisfactory safety rating. FMCSA is in the process of reviewing LEX Express's plan and has up to 30 days for review to ensure the proposed corrective action will produce safety results warranting a rating upgrade.

"The FMCSA is very clear about its safety and compliance requirements, investigations and procedures," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "The information we gather as a result keeps passengers safe and informed, while giving other drivers greater peace of mind when sharing the road with motor carriers."